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Festive Hats And Medal Mania Mark The Kick-off Of Fiesta

Originally aired on April 15, 2016

San Antonio kicked off its 125th Fiesta last night (April 14, 2016) with its annual Fiesta Fiesta celebration at the Alamo. The crowd was filled with people adorned with the traditional Fiesta medals, and the newer tradition of decorative hats.

Juan Rios has come to Fiesta every year since he was a child. He wore what he calls his Mardi Gras-meets-Fiesta hat, decorated with beads and flowers, maracas and a drinking cup.

"I love the way the community comes together, the fun, the money raised for organizations, and of course the beauty of the city and the people," Rios said.

Revelers enjoyed the Pin Pandemonium, the greeting of Fiesta royalty, a parade, food, and fireworks.

Julius Gonzalez’s heavy colorful fiesta hat competed with his many fiesta metals. He couldn’t walk for more than a few minutes without people stopping him to take his picture. He’s especially fond of his metals.

"They’re all my favorites," Gonzalez says. "Everybody wants to trade what I have on, but the ones I have on are my keepers; I always keep ‘em. I have a little bag with my traders."

Fiesta continues until April 24th with dozens of musical, cultural, athletic and patriotic events.